A fortnightly resource for anti-racist and social justice campaigns, highlighting key events in the UK and Europe.
Policing and criminal justice
20 November: The House of Commons Justice Committee recommends the scrapping of the criminal courts charge in its report: Criminal courts charge. Second Report of Session 2015–16. Download it here.
23 November: The Centre for Crime and Justice Studies publishes a report from a conference held earlier this year: Challenging state and corporate impunity: is accountability possible? Download the report here (pdf file, 134kb).
24 November: Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon tells the family of Sheku Bayoh, who died after contact with police in Fife earlier this year, that she will give ‘serious consideration’ to holding a public inquiry into his death. (Guardian, 24 November 2015)
26 November 2015: The trial of four police officers charged with misconduct as a result of their (in)action following allegations made by Bijan Ebrahimi, who was murdered in 2013 after being racially abused and accused of being a paedophile by his neighbours, is played recordings of his calls for help and CCTV of him being told to ‘shut up’ by police officers. (Bristol Evening Post, 26 November 2015)
26 November: The Ministry of Justice publishes statistics on ‘Race and the criminal justice system: 2014’. View the statistics here.
26 November: The Ministry of Justice and National Offender Management Service publish a report: NOMS annual offender equalities report: 2014 to 2015. Download the report here.
27 November: Janet Alder is told that the Crown Prosecution Service will not prosecute any of the police officers involved in surveillance of her during her campaign for justice following her brother’s death in a Hull police station in 1998. (Yorkshire Post, 27 November 2015)
1 December 2015: A National Preventive Mechanism report: Monitoring places of detention, Sixth Annual Report of the United Kingdom’s National Preventive Mechanism 1 April 2014 – 31 March 2015 reveals over-use of solitary confinement, often masked by confusing terminology used to describe it. Download the report (pdf file, 942kb).
1 December: An independent review finds that Thames Valley Police needs to improve how it records data on Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities. (BBC News, 1 December 2015)
3 December: Justice Secretary Michael Gove announces that the criminal courts charge which has resulted in over 100 magistrates resigning has been dropped. (Guardian, 3 December 2015)
Asylum and immigration
19 November: Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons publishes a report: Detainees under escort: Inspection of escort and removals to Nigeria and Ghana. Download the report here.
19 November: Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons publishes a report: Detainees under escort: Inspection of escort and removals to Pakistan. Download the report here.
20 November: A Protestant community centre in Brandenburg, Germany, is subjected to an arson attack following a march held by the National Democratic Party of Germany under the slogan of ‘No to asylum, yes to Jüteborg’. The community centre offers services to migrants, including hosting weekly meetings. The attack comes after reports that insurance companies are increasingly likely to refuse to insure buildings that house migrants due to the high numbers of xenophobic attacks across Germany. (Migazin, 23 November 2015)
23 November: Thousands of migrants block a train line and some sew their mouths shut in protest after Macedonia begins building a barrier around its southern border with Greece. (Guardian, 23 November 2015)
25 November: Activists glue themselves to the gate of Colnbrook immigration removal centre in an attempt to stop a bus carrying people to be deported on a flight to Nigeria, Ghana and Sierra Leone. (Guardian, 25 November 2015)
25 November: The Court of Appeal rules that the residence test rule for legal aid, which excludes all those recently arrived or in the UK unlawfully or outside the UK from legal aid, is lawful, reversing a High Court decision which said that all those affected by UK law should have access to the courts. (Free Movement, 26 November 2015)
26 November: Open Democracy publishes allegations that G4S housed a transgender asylum seeker in a shared room in a house in Sheffield with a man. G4S denies the allegations. (Open Democracy, 26 November 2015)
26 November: UK Visas and Immigration publishes ‘Data on UK Visas and Immigration asylum activities’. View the data here.
28 November: Macedonian police fire stun grenades and tear gas at protestors when a Moroccan man who climbed on to a train at the border with Greece was electrocuted and badly burned, during protests at Macedonia’s policy of turning away everyone except Syrians, Afghans and Iraqis. (Al Jazeera, 28 November 2015)
29 November: Refugees sheltering in Malmö’s 2013 Eurovision venue beg to leave, describing the conditions as ‘inhuman’ and prison-like. A policeman from Stockholm sent to monitor the hall, where around 1,000 migrants have been accommodated, admits that he had trouble breathing, saying that the health services had withdrawn the two nurses there because of the bad conditions. (The Local, 29 November 2015)
30 November: Asylum seekers expelled by Norway to Russia are being sent back to Norway in violation of a bilateral agreement between the two countries. Norway last week announced that it would be sending asylum seekers with Russian residency permits back to Russia without processing their asylum requests. (The Local, 30 November 2015)
30 November: Turkish police arrest 1,300 refugees from Syria, Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan near the border with Greece, the day after a summit where the government promised to curb the flow of refugees to Greece in exchange for financial aid from the EU. (Guardian, 30 November 2015)
1 December: The Home Office and UK Visas and Immigration publishes updated guidance on the ‘Right to rent immigration checks: landlords’ code of practice’. View the guidance here.
2 December: Children & Young People Now reveals that despite a letter sent by the government to local councils asking them to take more asylum-seeking children in order to relieve the pressure on Kent County Council, only 42 children have been transferred from Kent. (Children and Young People Now, 2 December 2015)
2 December: An inquest is told how 22-year-old Sudanese man Husham Osman Alzubair died from head injuries after his body was found in the UK on a freight train which had come from France. The coroner recorded a verdict of accidental death. (Birmingham Mail, 2 December 2015)
Violence and harassment
20 November: A man is given a two-year prison sentence for a racist attack in Wakefield which left a Libyan asylum seeker needing hospital treatment. (Yorkshire Post, 20 November 2015)
20 November: Police in Scotland reveal that in the seven days after the Paris attacks, sixty-four racially or religiously aggravated hate crimes were reported. In 2014-15, there were seventy-one charges related to Islamophobic hate crime. (Buzz Feed News, 20 November 2015)
24 November: Two men beat a Turkish teenager in Cheltenham with golf clubs in a ‘brutal’ assault while calling him a ‘terrorist’, and then attack his uncle when he tries to intervene. (Gloucestershire Echo, 24 November 2015)
25 November: The chair of the Leeds Muslim Community Safety Forum tells a conference that a man in Armley asked a butcher for all his pigs’ heads and feet, in order to desecrate ‘as many mosques as possible’. (Yorkshire Evening Post, 25 November 2015)
26 November: The Police Service of Northern Ireland publishes: Incidents and Crimes with a Hate Motivation Recorded by the Police in Northern Ireland: Quarterly Update to 30 September 2014. Download the report here (pdf file, 612kb)
26 November: It is reported that Austria has seen a nearly 60 per cent rise in racist and xenophobic crimes, with 1,201 complaints between January and September 2015, compared to 750 over the same period last year. The police intelligence agency say that there have been significant increases in incitement and neo-Nazi activity. (The Local, 26 November 2015)
27 November: In Belfast, a mother from India and her two children escape injury after their car is set alight in what is being treated as a deliberate attack. (Belfast Live, 27 November 2015)
27 November: A man is filmed attempting to set fire to Finsbury Park mosque before fleeing on a moped. (BBC News, 28 November 2015)
28 November: Two women who racially abused and urinated in front of a Muslim family in August as they prayed in a park in Plymouth, are given suspended sentences. (Western Daily Press, 28 November 2015)
30 November: Police investigate after posters ‘intended to incite racial hatred’ are plastered on lampposts in Charlwood, where asylum seekers from countries including Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq are being accommodated. (Surrey Mirror, 30 November 2015)
3 December 2015: Brian Hughes is jailed for five years and given a five-year licence for attacking a 20-year-old student in a Stoke pub after telling him ‘You are going to know who Lee Rigby was’. (Stoke Sentinel, 3 December 2015)
24 November: On Britain First’s Facebook page, some supporters celebrate footage which appears to show the intentional drowning of migrants by the Hellenic Coastguard. Greek authorities deny any intentional drowning. (Huffington Post, 24 November 2015)
28 November: Around 150 EDL supporters march through Scarborough, and are faced by around 70 anti-fascists. Three people are arrested. (Northern Echo, 28 November 2015)
30 November: While speaking at a Pegida rally in Dresden, Germany, Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, (aka Tommy Robinson) the ex-leader of the EDL, calls for Europe-wide demonstrations against Islam on 6 February. (HOPE not Hate, 1 December 2015)
30 November: Facebook bans Britain First’s Facebook page under hate speech rules, and then reverses the ban. (Pink News, 30 November 2015)
24 November: French human rights organisations warn that the state of emergency declared after 13 November may lead to the indiscriminate targeting of the Muslim community and people on housing estates in a dragnet approach. A senate oversight committee to monitor anti-terrorist raids is introduced after the media report several disturbing cases. Emergency measures have led to 1,233 searches so far, and 266 people have been placed under house arrest. France has also sought exemption from parts of the European Convention of Human Rights for the duration of the state of emergency. (Human Rights Watch, 24 November 2015)
27 November: The government announces £1 million in funding for five years to pay towards a team of experts who will counter extremism in Commonwealth countries. (Guardian, 27 November 2015)
30 October: The Equality and Human Rights Commission publishes a report: Is Britain Fairer? The state of equality and human rights 2015. Download the report here (pdf file, 4.1mb)
23 November: The Swiss cantonal parliament of Ticino decides to back a ban on wearing the burqa in public, supported in a 2013 referendum by around two-thirds of voters in the Italian-speaking canton. Publicly wearing the burqa in the canton is now punishable by a fine of up to 10,000 francs. (The Local, 24 November 2015)
24 November: The Palestine Solidarity Campaign launches a discrimination case against the Co-operative Bank after its bank account was closed by the bank, which cited their ‘risk appetite’ for the closure. Another twenty organisations have also faced similar action. (Middle East Monitor, 24 November 2015)
26 November: Cambridge University removes historian David Starkey from its most recent promotional campaign after pressure from students and teachers citing his ‘profoundly racist’ views. (Voice, 26 November 2015)
30 November: A parent who made a Freedom of Information request about the numbers of children in Greenleaf Primary School in Waltham Forest who had been deemed at risk of radicalisation, has the first names of seven children accidentally released to him. (BBC News, 30 November 2015)
2 December: Camden Safeguarding Children Board is criticised for listing as a specific sign of radicalisation ‘appearing angry at government policies, especially foreign policies’ in a leaflet for parents as part of an anti-extremism drive. (Independent, 2 December 2015)
2 December: NUS Black Students publishes: Preventing PREVENT: A student handbook on countering the PREVENT agenda on campus. Download it here.
November: A petition is launched demanding that the Daily Mail remove and apologise for a cartoon which depicts migrants as rats, echoing ‘an infamous piece of 1939 Nazi propaganda’. See the petition here.
23 November: An opinion poll by the Sun used to underpin a controversial front-page headline about British Muslims is criticised by professional polling organisations and commentators as ‘dubious’ and ‘open to distortion’. (Guardian, 23 November 2015)
26 November: Cypriot anti-racist group KISA protests at false media stories suggesting refugees in Cyprus are terrorists. (KISA, 26 November 2015)
17 November: Independent Age and the International Longevity Centre – UK (ILC-UK) publish a report: Moved to care: the impact of migration on the adult social care workforce. Download the report here.
25 November: PC Nadeem Saddique, a firearms officer, wins his job back after an employment tribunal finds that Cleveland Police racially discriminated against him, bullied and harassed him. (Guardian, 25 November 2015)